For Hong Kong-born Canucks and their children, that simple question has been complicated in recent days by some discomfiting reports.
At the heart of the matter are two teenagers who applied through a Toronto travel agency to visit mainland China as part of a student study group. Despite having been born and bred in Canada, the teenagers were reportedly denied 10-year Chinese visas for their Canadian passports last month after consular authorities found out their parents had been born in Hong Kong. Instead, the youngsters were advised to apply for the Chinese Travel Document, which is normally reserved for Chinese nationals, Ming Pao reported.
The case as reported depicts natural-born Canadian citizens being treated very differently to their compatriots, on the basis of parentage alone.
The issue and its potential ambiguities deserve serious consideration, according to MP Jenny Kwan, herself a Hong Kong-born Canadian. “When I travel I take comfort knowing that I’m travelling as a Canadian, no matter what country, whether it’s China or anywhere else,” said Kwan. “I take comfort knowing that I hold my Canadian passport [and] I would not want my children travelling anywhere as anything other than Canadians.”